Richard Grenell, Openly Gay Romney Spokesman, Resigns Under Pressure from Conservative Bigots
Mitt Romney’s newly-hired foreign policy spokesman has resigned on what was supposed to be his first day on the job, a victim, many say, of intense pressure from influential bigoted conservatives.
The Washington Post reports that Richard Grenell, who served as former President George W. Bush’s top spokesman at the United Nations, had come under fire for being openly gay as well as for offensive tweets (now deleted) about prominent women such as Callista Gingrich and Michelle Obama.
Grenell claims his sexuality “was a non-issue” for the Romney campaign, but that “hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues” loomed large over his hiring. He released this statement:
“I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.”
Team Romney expressed its disappointment with Grenell’s resignation.
“We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said. “We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill.”
While it is unclear exactly why Grenell resigned, team Obama has seized upon his quitting as proof of how bigoted many conservatives are.
“Today we learned that in the year 2012, a Republican nominee for President can’t have a gay person as spokesman,” Obama Digital Director Teddy Goff tweeted.
“This is the kind of bigoted, anti-gay extremists a Romney administration would find itself held hostage to,” Bill Burton, founder of a pro-Obama super PAC added.
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